Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? Very cool, right? But how did this delicious frozen treat become a national treasure? Interestingly enough, ice cream has a very long history – actually, it has been around for centuries! Its exact origins have been lost to time, but there are records of people enjoying some form of it as early as 5th century BC in ancient Greece. In the 2nd century for example, the Chinese froze a mixture of milk and rice to create their version of ice cream. It was no doubt delicious.
Due to the difficulty in creating ice cream, it was typically only served to the upper caste – kings and rulers and such. In fact, it seems to be a favorite among our presidents! It was discovered that George Washington had a sweet tooth for the frozen treat. He owned equipment for making and enjoying ice cream at his home in Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson was also known to love ice cream, and owned various recipes, such as for Baked Alaska and vanilla ice cream.
But perhaps the most important event in ice cream history came in 1984, when then-President Reagan introduced July as National Ice Cream Month, and its third Sunday as National Ice Cream Day. We all love ice cream, but who knew the Gipper was such a softie?
Thanks to Reagan, this means that July is the month to truly indulge in the nation’s favorite frozen dessert. Though there are truly so many ways to celebrate, here are just a few cool ideas on how to pamper your family with this frozen delicacy.
Make your own ice cream
Though making ice cream has been tough over the course of history, nowadays our level of technology makes it just easy peasy. All sorts of gadgets exist out there that will allow you to make ice cream with relative ease – a great many do the bulk of the work, and many of these models are quite cost-effective. They’re also fairly simple to use, and would be a perfect way to have your kids help out.
By having them give you a hand, it would teach them a few valuable life lessons. For example: that they can, and should, enjoy the finer things in life. But they have to work hard for it before they can indulge. In fact, by working for it, the reward just gets sweeter.
Host an ice cream social
Some venues allow you to reserve it for parties, while some will only cater. Regardless of what’s available to you, ice cream is definitely on the table. If you have a parlor near you that can host parties, definitely consider yourself lucky. Enjoying ice cream at an actual parlor is more than a time-honored tradition – it’s almost a rite of passage for your kids. Hosting a party for them, especially during National Ice Cream Month, is sure to give them some cherished memories. A bit sticky, perhaps, but still cherished.
Perhaps more importantly, your kids get to hang out with their friends and bond over one of America’s favorite treats. These social bonding experiences are incredibly valuable, and ice cream is the perfect way to help bring them all together.
Try out a new flavor or style
Though ice cream has been around for centuries, chocolate and vanilla still top the favorites list. So this month is definitely the perfect time to encourage your kids to try out a flavor they normally wouldn’t. Or, they could even try a whole new style of frozen dessert. There are tons to choose from: gelato, frozen yogurt, sherbet, soft serve, sandwiches, and more. And then there are the flavor choices on top of the style. Argh! Too much! They’re enough to trigger a serious case of brain freeze.
The takeaway here though is to try something new. Your kids may or may not enjoy a different take on ice cream, but they’re still enriched by the experience, and it opens them up to accepting variety. Definitely a useful lesson that’ll last them their whole lives.